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Freedom Split Twin Bill with Otters

August 12, 2018 - Frontier League (FL) - Florence Freedom News Release

EVANSVILLE, In - Looking to capitalize on an opportunity to make up ground in the Frontier League West Division, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, stole the opener of a doubleheader with the Evansville Otters, 5-2, but fell victim to a combined no-hitter in a, 2-0, loss in the nightcap on Saturday at historic Bosse Field.

Freedom (40-38) second baseman, Caleb Lopes, owned the day in the leader, going 4-4 at the plate with a pair of two run homers and two singles, helping Florence take an early, 2-0, edge over Evansville (38-39) with the first of his round-trippers in the visitor's side of the first. Florence would up their lead to three in the fourth, plating another run of an insurance off Otters starter Randy Wynne (6-8) when Taylor Bryant crushed a double to the gap in left-center, scoring Jordan Brower from first.

Evansville would rally to make it a one-run game in the home half of the fifth, putting together their best inning offensively off Freedom starter, Steve Hagen. Hunter Cullen knocked a one-out single to right, and stole second base ahead of a David Cronin RBI-one bagger to center. A throw to the plate from centerfield allowed Cronin to take second base, where he stood with Ryan Long striding to the plate. Florence would make a pitching change, Dennis Pelfrey calling on southpaw Evan Korson (1-0) to collect the final out of the inning. Long greeted Korson with a single, plating Cronin as the score reached, 3-2. The Otters would threaten again in the sixth, getting a walk and a single from Austin Bush to start the frame off the lefty. With the game hanging in the balance, All-Star closer, Johnathon Tripp was summoned from the bullpen in search of a six-out save. Tripp did not disappoint, spinning out of trouble while facing just three batters, and picked up a strikeout in the process.

Still leading, 3-2, in the top of the seventh, Austin Wobrock delivered his second single of the game, and Caleb Lopes belted his fourth big-fly of the season as Florence created some breathing room at, 5-2.

Tripp would work a quick home half, tallying save number 11 and sealing the Freedom, 5-2, victory.

Wynne went the distance in the losing effort, tossing seven innings and allowing five earned runs and fanning six.

Hagen was handed the no-decision, but tallied a final line of 4.2 frames, surrendering three meager hits and two runs, both earned, with two walks and three whiffs.

Game two would belong to the Otters, who used an effectively wild Ty Hensley (1-0) to confound Florence hitters en route to five no-hit, shut-out innings, before Matt Chavarria took over. Hensley beaned one batter and walked four, but punched-out seven in his first start since June 20 at Florence.

Ryan Long put Evansville in front with the only run they would need in the bottom of the first, launching a homer to right-center off Christian DeLeon (5-4). Long's team-leading tenth home run of the year made the score, 1-0. The Otters would add one more run of insurance in their next at-bat, cashing in a Matt Rizzitello double with a broken bat infield single from JJ Gould.

DeLeon would settle in, swallowing the tough-luck loss despite tossing a quality start. The right-hander threw four shut-out frames to close his outing, spanning all six innings and scattering five hits that led to two runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Matt Chavarria toed the slab for the Otters in the sixth and seventh, putting the ffinishing touches on the no-hitter and, 2-0, victory while tallying one walk and a trio of punch-outs. The no-hitter was the first thrown to be thrown at Florence since August 20, 2014, when Travis Tingle of the Windy City Thunderbolts accomplished the feat, also in a seven inning game.

The Florence Freedom are members of the Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Wayin Florence, KY. The Freedom can be found online at florencefreedom.com, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.

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